"THAT WHICH IS AGAINST
PAUL THE APOSTLE wrote
in I Corinthians 11:14, "Doth not even nature itself teach you, that if
a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?" There are lessons to be
gained from nature, and to Paul long hair symbolized submission. Man having
been created to be the head, long hair would inappropriately be displayed
on him. The role of a woman is more of a submissive role in her relationship
to man. Thus, long hair is becoming to her.
Jesus used parables from nature and human experience to get his teachings
across. The word parable in the original language of the New Testament
signifies that which has been thrown alongside, i.e., para + bolé
(beside + thrown). The Lord made the application in what he was trying
to get across. But there are lessons to be learned from nature and human
experience that are more obvious than parables. The very nature of the
thing itself is a truth and message God wants us to see.
Somewhat as a series, from time to time, we will point out some of
these sermons from nature and human experience. Let us zero in on one such
lesson in Romans 1:18-32 now.
"The Natural Use"
In the book of Romans Paul shows that Jew and Gentile alike are guilty
before God (and need a Savior), "For all have sinned, and come short of
the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). First, he singles out the Gentile. All
men originally knew God. But with time, the vast majority of them plunged
into the darkness of idolatry. They did not retain God in their knowledge.
As we single from out of the above Scripture in Romans 1, Paul said, "Wherefore
God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts,
to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth
of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more [rather]
than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave
them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural
use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving
the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another;
men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves
that recompence of their error which was meet [fitting, due]. And even
as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over
to a reprobate [debased] mind [a mind void of judgment], to do those things
which are not convenient [proper, seemly]" (Romans 1:24-28).
Male and Female
The practice of homosexuality is perversely unnatural. That is not
the way God made us. Although the Lord was dealing with a different subject
than the one at hand, he asked in Matthew 19, verses 4 and 5, "Have ye
not read, that he [GOD] which made them at the beginning made them male
and female…For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall
cleave to his wife: and they twain [the two] shall be one flesh?" Going
back to Genesis, we read, "So God created man in his own image [a spiritual
image], in the image of God created he him; male and female created he
them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply…"
(Genesis 1:27,28). Then Genesis 2:22, more in particular, tells us that
the lord God made a woman and brought her unto the man. This is the very
foundation and basis of marriage. Thus, Moses offered his inspired commentary:
"Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto
his wife" (2:24). Yes, God made male and female. The very anatomy of their
bodies tell us what is natural, as their distinctive bodies compliment
one another for the purposes that God made them. In this intimate relationship,
they were to be fruitful and multiply. But the anatomy of the body does
not naturally lend itself to homosexual practices. That being the case,
one’s sexuality must be given over to that which is abnormal, perverted
and sub-human. No offspring can come from such a union. This is not what
God intended. The Bible looks upon the practice of homosexuality as a loathsome
"They Became Fools"
Men today arrogantly pride themselves in being smarter than their
forebears. Their ancestors believed the Bible, and the Bible no where gives
comfort to those who practice sexual perversion, except in repenting and
turning from it (I Corinthians 6:9-11). Men more godly and of a Bible-believing
generation made the laws of the land. The practice of homosexuality was
called sodomy and legally labeled, "crime against nature." But, just like
Paul wrote in Romans 1:22, "Professing themselves to be wise, they became
fools." Sodomy laws are no longer enforced, and in many states they have
been taken off the law books. There is even talk of legalizing homosexual
marriages (as way-out as that may seem!). The president of the United States
actively promotes the homosexual agenda. Then, almost as no surprise, he
is involved in a sex scandal with a young woman (the scandal involved what
is legally called sodomy, that which is practiced by homosexuals). A spokesman
of the White House belittled those who spoke of homosexual practices as
morally wrong and condescendingly called them unenlightened. We were told
that it was not a matter of conscience, but of science.
How pathetic! How sad! "Professing themselves to be wise, they became
fools." Ignorance reigns. "And even as they did not like to retain God
in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate [debased] mind [a
mind void of judgment], to do those things which are not convenient [proper,
seemly]" (This was spoken of the pagan Gentile world of long ago). According
to Paul, even nature itself, elementary as that is, teaches us otherwise.
The truth is as plain as the anatomy of the human body. Perhaps it is willful
ignorance today, if indeed men are ignorant, as they seek to justify themselves
in their sins (yes, sins!). Our nation needs to wake up! It is later than
FROM NATURE OF
GOD GIVES His truths and
that which is required of man in straightforward language as seen in the
Ten Commandments. That is usually the case. However, at times for various
reasons He has used other methods. Jesus taught in parables. Then there
are certain truths that are self-evident in nature. Paul speaks of that
which is against nature (Romans 1:26-28). And for those who know the Word
of God, there are truths of that Word which are continually verified in
nature. They actually explain the significance of natural phenomena. These
verifications speak loud and clear of God’s dealings with man and of what
He wants man to be aware.
In times past, upheaval and irregular happenings in nature were used
of God to bring judgment upon mankind. This was true with the Flood. This
was true with the nation of Israel as God singled them out to unfold the
revelation of His scheme of redemption for mankind. When they got out of
step with His plan, going into sin and idolatry, judgment came in different
ways to awaken them to their apostasy. Nature was His tool at times. These
happenings were specific.
However, God speaks through nature in more of a generic sense to
all of mankind (even today). It is apparent that everything was created
originally with man in mind, as man was the last to arrive on the scene.
God placed man in the Garden home, paradise on earth, and in a world that
was very friendly and accommodating to his happiness and well-being. But
we know the sad story of paradise lost. With man’s rebellion, sin and all
of its repercussions came into the world. As sinful and imperfect man was
driven from the Garden of Eden, it was not fitting that imperfect man should
live in a perfect environment. He needed continual reminders of his imperfection.
Childbearing would be accompanied by pain (Genesis 3:16). The ground would
be cursed, paradise became a jungle, and man would eventually return to
the ground from which his body had been made (Genesis 3:17-19). Perhaps
the earth originally enjoyed a universal weather pattern that was calm
and even. And its geophysical features would later be changed even more
radically in the Flood to never be the same. Yes, everything changed. The
apostle Paul would later write in Romans 8:22, "For we know that the whole
creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." These reminders
would ever prod the mind of man, causing him to never forget that he is
the sinner and ever suggesting the need of repentance and godliness on
his part. He had lost so much. And at the same time these things would
make him realize his need of a Savior and hope for a better day.
But are we getting the message today? God is still speaking to us.
Upheavals in nature abound, and they even seem to abound more so. Earthquakes,
hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, mud slides, radical changes in the weather
patterns—all of these phenomena are much in evidence. Yes, God is speaking
universally and generically to all of us. Has He gotten our attention yet?
We are sinners and our lives are irregular and unharmonious before Him,
even as the phenomena in nature. Our lives need to be straightened out
and brought into harmony with His Divine will. Living in such a world should
give birth to hope, hope for something better; hope for "new heavens and
a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness"—for heaven (II Peter 3:13).